In a bold move (and probably a very smart one), Apple has just unveiled that Final Cut Pro is finally going to be available on iPad devices. While professional editors have been asking Apple to give FCPX the pro support we've been seeing from their other products, will this move the needle for the majority of professional video editors who have found comfort (and support) in Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve?

Probably not. 

But this does represent a much-anticipated user-base shift for Apple and Final Cut Pro that might ultimately work out for everyone. 

Let’s take a more in-depth look into the news of Apple finally introducing Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for the iPad. What will this mean for your video editing needs?

Final Cut Pro’s Complicated History

Originally developed by Macromedia and, since 1998, Apple as part of its pro apps collection, Final Cut Pro has been a legacy NLE which has seen its popular ebb and flow throughout the age of digital video editing. Originally designed as a more easy-to-use and accessible alternative to Avid, Final Cut Pro was one of the most popular NLEs in the world in the 2000s. Several filmmakers on our staff cut most of their early work on Final Cut 7. 

Final Cut 7 StudioFinal Cut StudioCredit: Apple

However, the slimmed-down Final Cut Pro X released in 2011 lacked many of the features of previous iterations and professionals weren't happy with the changes. Final Cut Pro began a slow decline which has left it behind its competition. This gave Adobe Premiere Pro a chance to fill in the void along with Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, which has also made inroads in the professional video editing world as it grew from a color grading suite to a full-fledged NLE and compositor. This further divided the market and ultimately added more solid options for video editors of all skill levels.

Still, for certain video editors who got started in the early or late 2000s, there are plenty of fans of Final Cut Pro who have either kept using it for some of its hallmark features (like its popular magnetic timeline) or at least fondly remember the NLE and wish to see it rise again. But this news today will certainly signal a new direction and drastic shift for Final Cut Pro moving forward.

Apple-ipad-final-cut-pro-multicam-video-editing_bigCredit: Apple

Final Cut Pro on iPad

In what could be chalked up as the most inevitable move ever, Final Cut Pro is finally going to be offered on iPad and will be available on May 23rd, 2023. Along with Logic Pro, these new pro apps will both bring all-new touch interfaces to these legacy apps, which should allow users the ability to enhance their workflows with multi-touch intuitiveness.

“We’re excited to introduce Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad, allowing creators to unleash their creativity in new ways and in even more places. With a powerful set of intuitive tools designed for the portability, performance, and touch-first interface of iPad, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro deliver the ultimate mobile studio.” — Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

From the first looks of this new iPad Final Cut Pro, we’re probably going to see a whole host of new tools and features for the app, which are tailored for this new touch-screen workflow, including a new jog wheel to make the editing process to most probably make up for the lack of keyboard and mouse functions.

Apple-ipad-final-cut-pro-lifestyle-hover_bigCredit: Apple

Back to the Drawing Board

Another interesting quirk announced for this new iPad Final Cut Pro so far is a Live Drawing mode which will allow users the ability to write directly on top of their video footage using the Apple Pencil. And on iPads with M2, this Apple Pencil will be able to hover and unlock more abilities for users to skim and preview footage and other commands by touching the screen.

You’ll also be able to speed up workflows by adding a Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio to use many of the legacy FCP commands. But we’ll have to wait and see just how much like the classic Final Cut Pro setup is carried over to this new iPad version.

Overall though, with the ability to view and edit HDR video—and with taking advantage of the Liquid Retina XDR display on the bigger 12.9 in iPad Pro models—there should be plenty of color grading controls and capabilities with Apple’s Reference Mode and other features.

Apple-ipad-final-cut-pro-logic-pro-hero_full-bleed-imageCredit: Apple

Will This Move the Needle, Though?

To wrap up, let’s go back to our original question about this new announcement. What does an iPad version of Final Cut Pro mean to most video editors? For professionals, this probably doesn’t move the needle much in terms of getting anyone to cancel their Adobe CC subscriptions or stop using DaVinci Resolve.

However, for certain projects where remote editing work might be necessary (especially on the most brutal of run-and-gun setups where even a laptop might be too cumbersome), I could see this iPad FCP being worth at least trying out. Also, if you’re someone first starting off in video editing and a bit turned off by all of the buttons and controls that come with starting up an NLE on your desktop, this also might be a nice first foray into proper digital video editing.

Ultimately though, the Logic Pro iPad app looks far more fun to mess around with than the video side, especially since DaVinci Resolve is already available on the iPad. Apple might be conceding the professional video editing market to Adobe and Blackmagic for now and just focusing on growing its prosumer user base. But, as with anything in this industry, that could change fast if they ever want to refocus.

What do you think about this news, though? Will you try out this new Final Cut Pro on your iPad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.